March 2006 Archives

Don't create, just open

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It's interesting how easy is for a cool feature to become a usability problem.
For both Maven1 and Maven2 integrations for Netbeans, the Maven's POM file (project object model) is the ultimate source of project related information in the IDE. A nice demoable side-effect of it is that you don't need to create a netbeans project or somehow import and setup the IDE. The project will be recoginized and opened. Done. Start working. And that's for any Maven project out there.

And there lies the usability problem apparently. I get questions quite frequently about how to setup the IDE and that there's no "Create Maven project with existing sources" item in the Create project wizard. I can definitely see the logic here. There's a "Create Project with existing Ant script" in the UI. If you have an existing Ant based project with custom build.xml, then the IDE needs some additional information about your dependencies, source roots etc. But for Maven there is basically everything included in the POM.

But I'm quite seriously considering to add an entry "Create maven project with existing POM" wizard, just to fullfill the expectations of the users and not to give the bad first impression. But isn't that cheating to just open the project then?

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